Around 13.7% of U.S. adults have mobility impairments. Some common causes of mobility impairments include congenital anomalies, debilitating injuries, and age. The ability to go around is associated with quality of life. No wonder people with mobility impairments report poor quality of life.
People with mobility impairments can struggle with daily activities. They stop partaking in their favorite activities and slowly slip into a sedentary lifestyle. Physical inactivity is associated with negative health conditions.
Wheelchairs can help people with mobility impairments lead a more active life. They are one of the most commonly used mobility aids. Wheelchairs help users perform everyday tasks such as toileting, showering and grocery shopping with confidence.
Wheelchairs come in many different shapes and sizes. Whether you have a lean physique or are bigger than the average user, you will find a wheelchair that fits your needs. Wheelchairs manufactured these days come loaded with a range of features that make every ride safe and comfortable.
Some types of wheelchairs include manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, sports wheelchairs, all-terrain wheelchairs, and positioning wheelchairs. Irrespective of their type, wheelchairs provide the following benefits:
➢Increased Independence: Mobility impairments can hold individuals back from living a fulfilling life. Wheelchairs allow users to undertake daily activities without assistance, helping them maintain their independence. When a person with a mobility impairment becomes independent, their self-esteem improves.
➢Enhanced Safety: It’s not uncommon for people with mobility impairments to fall and sustain injuries while navigating areas in their home. A wheelchair can help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, allowing the user to move around confidently.
➢Allow Users to be Socially Active: To avoid their pain triggers, many people with mobility impairments stop attending social events. Social isolation can contribute to mental health problems. Wheelchairs help users keep themselves mobile, allowing them to attend social events and gatherings. They are able to partake in activities focused on self-compassion such as mindful walks.
➢Help Reduce Caregiver Stress: Caring for a person with a mobility impairment can be physically exhausting. Caregivers can suffer an injury while helping their patient move from one area to another in their house. People with mobility impairments who use wheelchairs need little or no assistance staying mobile. Less time spent caring for a person with a mobility impairment means a reduced risk of caregiver burnout.
How to Choose a Wheelchair
Here are some things to consider when choosing a wheelchair:
➢Manual vs. Electric: If you need temporary assistance, opt for a manual wheelchair, else go for an electric wheelchair.
➢Wheelchair Size and Dimensions: Make sure the wheelchair can support your weight. Check armrest width and seat width.
➢Wheelchair Wheels: Look for a wheelchair with low-maintenance foam-filled tires. If you intend to use your wheelchair outdoors frequently, make sure it has durable tires.